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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Lionne posted 6/2/2018 07:53 AM

I stood up to a stupid mc years ago. Mind you, this was before I jfo, but later she witnessed the big reveal.
She took our history, listened to my chaotic childhood and husband's characterization that I was overly emotional. Explained our marriage dynamic as one where I grew up with Insanity so sought to recreate that in my marriage. I stewed on it for a week before telling her I had been abused by my mother, by my husband and I was NOT going to take it from my mc.
She revised her opinion. But didn't last. The whole SA issue came up and she wasn't equipped to help. She actually called me a year later to get recommendations for another SOSA.

sami1234 posted 6/4/2018 07:59 AM

number4: I have spoken up in the past, I agree it's a good thing.

marji: thanks for your input. I think that overall our MC has been helpful for my WH and mainly for interpreting my thoughts/needs etc to him in a way he can relate to. I don't think she's been that great for me. She is an extremely positive person and sometimes I just need to see more concern and empathy than positivity. I, too, believe that their impressions and input are invaluable, but when someone tells me how I am doing rather than saying "it looks like you are doing well...what do you think?" I feel invalidated. I think she would respond well to my challenge on that, I just keep having to do it. YES I would love to have another counselor, I just don't know how to find a good one and it's exhausting to put the time and effort into our "stories" at this point. Honestly I'd give her a B...I think she was pretty helpful for the trauma portion (although she still said some strange things) but now I don't feel growth and I don't feel she's able to help much more.

Ashes: My MC has said similar things...right after Dday we met with her together then separately where she told my WH that I loved him very much. WTH? I never said that to her and was completely blindsided that she would say that as I was not sure of anything at that point. She does say things like "You are the best of friends" (really? I don't think friends would do this to each other) Honestly I think I'd like to see a lot more empathy and less positivity. My IC doesn't like her, doesn't think she's a good MC so that's something I guess. My IC doesn't think our MC or my WH's IC are effective counselors. I've known my IC for a long time and although she hasn't said it outright when I gave her the names she was very distressed. Oh well.

Lionne: good for you. I need to stand up more. As it is we really are't going regularly so, it is what it is.

marji posted 6/4/2018 08:56 AM

I, too, believe that their impressions and input are invaluable, but when someone tells me how I am doing rather than saying "it looks like you are doing well...what do you think?" I feel invalidated. I think she would respond well to my challenge on that, I just keep having to do it. YES I would love to have another counselor, I just don't know how to find a good one

Goodness, Sami, I am so sorry for not conveying better what I meant. I do not think "their impression and input are invaluable." Heavens, I don't think anyone's impressions are invaluable though impressions some might be more useful than others.

When I said I value their thoughts I just meant that I listen and mull over rather than just dismiss and I prefer to hear their thoughts than not. There's a classic form of therapy whereby the therapist doesn't speak, doesn't offer any impressions. It's not a style Im comfortable with.

But their impressions can be wrong, superficial, irrelevant just as anyone elses. We're not, however, paying other people or spending a lot of time getting to or from their office. So I think we need to expect more of them and not continue to use their service if it's not really helping us. I know that some clients are willing to challenge or confront a therapist and maybe that's the right thing to do sometimes but if that person is not really helping our growth then it would seem the wisest thing to try to find another. Doesn't seem like it's your place to have to keep teaching your therapist--unless of course she's giving you a major discount for helping with her learning curve. She sounds very young and inexperienced. Maybe not someone who is specializing with this type of trauma.

But good that you have your own IC.

ashestophoenix posted 6/4/2018 19:47 PM

Sami, I admire the way you are thinking about the therapists in your life. And your IC, who you trust, is backing you up. It was really liberating when I FINALLY learned I could "fire" my therapists. I was paying them to help me, and if I wasn't being helped, time for me to go. Wish I had really learned this 40 years ago, but I was WAY too trusting. And I realize now, that I was already suffering my damage to my self esteem from my marriage.

My current IC and MC, when I told them about my therapy induced trauma, have been great. Very healing. They don't tell me what I think or feel. I agree, it's invalidating.

And, I know what you mean about "too much positivity." My husband changed his IC after years to a trauma/EMDR specialist, and he's doing so much better. He reached a plateau with his first IC who just kept telling him he was a "good guy", but didn't deal with his trauma. But, to be fair, I think my husband needed years of this "you're a good guy" message in order to get strong enough to actually address his trauma.

ashestophoenix

sami1234 posted 6/5/2018 07:42 AM

Doesn't seem like it's your place to have to keep teaching your therapist--unless of course she's giving you a major discount for helping with her learning curve. She sounds very young and inexperienced. Maybe not someone who is specializing with this type of trauma

marji; I think this is spot on. I have had these very same feelings. AND she only does this part time, she has a day job, AND she is fairly new at it. I think she has helped some but then it's stopped. No worries, I knew what you meant, on the same page here.

ashestophoenix: Agreed. I need someone real, not a cheerleader to tell us how great we get along, how great our relationship is, how she has used our relationship as an example to others in her practice. Dunno, this just sounds messed up and FEELS to me like pressure.

My WH's IC was only effective for maybe five sessions. WH was a newbie to therapy of any kind, having been through therapy as a teen with a bad therapist for his parents divorce he wanted no part of therapy ever again. It left a bad taste in his mouth. Too bad because a good IC/MC session might have prevented all this to begin with. But anyway, after about five sessions my WH said "I get it now" I no longer need to go to IC because now he just sits and listens to me. I said to him that a good IC is always able to probe and pull things out, he said that wasn't happening, but then he's more of a closed book. I had been to therapy for years for sex abuse, I know what it's about, and having been to several IC's through the years I knew how to find a good one. I just hadn't been to an MC and it's a different animal. It's no longer about me, it's about the "relationship" and that is different. Yes I think it's time to find a new MC but I would love for WH to find another IC. He just sees absolutely no need, he's a fixer, he feels "fixed." I'm a prober, why do we do the things we do, where does it originate, and how do we identify and deal with our own danger zones when we find ourselves in patterns of repeating those behaviors.

ashestophoenix posted 6/5/2018 14:34 PM

sami, I think IC is much more important for our addicted partners than MC. It's part of the addict mindset to "not need help and go it alone." This is a red flag. My SAH used to say the same things and now he realizes that was a pile of BS. If it were me, and your husband was the one wanting MC, I'd make it contingent upon his getting IC. These people are deeply damaged and they need help.

The problem with MC for people like us is the assumption that both partners contributed to the problems equally. We know that's not true since we didn't live a secret, compartmentalized life. Traditional MC's also want to "return" to when it was first good; we never had it "good" since we were always married to an addict. There is no "good before." There's only secret addiction before. MC's without knowledge of SA or attachment/intimacy issues will screw this up and protect the addict.

My view is that my husband will need to stay in therapy until he dies. I'm not kidding. He may end up reducing his visit to once a month, but he's a messed up person who is slowly getting healthy. Just like they can't get complacent about their sobriety, they can't get complacent about their emotional health and maturity. They need the accountability of an IC.

ashestophoenix

number4 posted 6/5/2018 16:47 PM

I know this isn't directly related to sex addiction, but I need a place to vent. I have been terrified since yesterday.

Back up to Thursday, the genetic counselor I spoke to said she'd immediately email me the report. She never did, and when I called to tell her I never got it, heard a voice mail that said she's only in the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

So Friday morning I stopped by my internist's office to see if they could access it through electronic medical records and they could, so I got the report, but of course, it's about 90% Greek to me; even H could only decipher so much. I also found out my GI doc's office never got the report that the genetic counselor said she was going to send.

In the meantime, the in-person dinner meeting H had with one of the start-up company's head guys went really, really well Friday night. H had a follow up phone call with the CEO Sunday morning, and we've already jumped to talking compensation packages. They also want him to come back out for three days starting this Sunday to meet some people he hasn't met.

And yesterday I melted down (as far as you can do that without actually crying) - I dropped off my medical report at my GI's office, and explained to the receptionist I needed to talk to her sooner rather than later, because I needed to get a colonoscopy scheduled. What H and I were able to decipher from this report is that I will be getting annual colonoscopies for the rest of my life, along with some additional screening. I finally got a call back this morning that I can see her in the office on Friday afternoon. I also scheduled an appt. with my internist for Thursday afternoon. And I have a call into my gynecological oncologist for him to call me back today - the genetic counselor did tell me on the phone that she had already spoken to him and he told her to tell me to call with any questions.

I'll repeat, I've been freaking out since yesterday. I stopped at a red light at an intersection, and within a minute when I saw no one coming from either direction, my mind shifted gears (I was so preoccupied) and all of a sudden that traffic light was a four-way stop, and I was clear to go, so I went. Thankfully there were no cars coming in either direction, but I ran a red light.

After doing that, I realized this crap has me so scared, I had to tell H, there is no way I can consider relocating if, when I get this colonoscopy done, there is anything serious (the stats we found in the report state I have a 22-80% chance of developing colorectal cancer in my lifetime; however, since I've made it to 58 without doing so, my percentages are more reasonable... I think in the mid 30% range. I suppose if I even have a polyp and it's benign, I'd feel safe, than how I am now, not having had a colonoscopy in five years.

H wants me to go back out with him this weekend to meet with these people, but if I do, I may have to wait one more week for the colonoscopy, because going out to the west coast would mean I wouldn't be home on Tuesday to do the prep and I think my GI only does these on Wednesdays. So I'd have to wait until the following week, living in this terrified state. So I'm tempted to have H go out there this weekend without me so I can be home on Tuesday to do the prep, he'd get home Tuesday night, and be here to drive me to the procedure on Wednesday.

And where it gets challenging between the two of us is, he very much operates with a Pollyanish attitude about things; and because he does so, I feel like I have to be hyper-vigilant about all the things that can go wrong in our lives. And last night he even said to me (after another phone call with the CEO) that, in his mind, he is already mentally making the shift to the new job and checking out of the current one. I told him I was sorry if I it felt like I was raining on his parade, but if they find something serious in my test, and we move out there, he's not going to be happy trying to get established in a new job (and it wouldn't be fair to the new company) if I'm in treatment for something serious. If we stay here, I will have more of a support system; out there, I have him, and our daughter, and I don't want her to become my caregiver. In fact, I still need to have the phone conversation with my daughters about this testing - what I've been told is to say, "I've had genetic counseling and have the results; do you want to know what they are?" If they say no, then I have to drop it. They each have a 50% chance of getting the mutated gene from me, and if they do, they are already past the point where they should be getting colonoscopies every year or two, along with other screening tests. So it feels like another secret I am keeping.

Today I actually had thoughts of telling my psychiatrist I think I need to do either a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program.

So yes, I set some boundaries with my husband about this job, but I now know how he feels (and I should add, I was EXTREMELY impressed with the clinician we met on Friday night - it would be a coup for H to get to work with someone of this caliber), and if I say no, we can't go, I'm forcing him to turn down the job of a lifetime.

Might I add, though, that this clinician he'd be working with, is a clinical oncologist, and incredibly well-known throughout the country and world. So if we moved, I know we'd have connections to THE best people in oncology.

DogsnBooks posted 6/6/2018 05:45 AM

UPDATE:
I went to my first ever S-Anon group last night! Apparently I was supposed to attend a newcomers meeting but they didnít tell me that in the email ... oh well, next week.

WH will be attending his first SAA meeting tomorrow night.

sami1234 posted 6/6/2018 07:58 AM

ashestophoenix: thank you for that. I, also believe that IC is very important for him. He doesn't ask for MC either though, we only go if I request it because I need to talk to him about an issue. We went regularly for the first year and a half, now it's "as needed." I feel we would benefit from going more often but I DO agree that MC makes me feel like a lot of this was my "fault" or that it had more to do with issues in the M than his own mindset. But you may or may not remember that my WH does not think he is SA, just has SA "tendencies" that he feels were brought on by our circumstances at the time. I think that's BS personally but it's where we are. In fact the last time I walked out the door about a year and a half ago was because he said that the things that were happening that made him do these things were not likely to occur again. WHAT?? Blaming your behavior on circumstances? Crazy talk. I don't think he would say that today, either because he knows I'd walk out or maybe he truly sees it differently but I just don't know.

number4 posted 6/6/2018 09:23 AM

@DogsnBooks -

That's great. Glad you found some meetings. Getting through the door for the first time is often the hardest part.

marji posted 6/6/2018 21:43 PM

Cool, Dogs, so glad to hear you found a group. Hope it's one you like. Interesting that yours has a newcomers meeting--haven't heard of that before. That sounds like a good idea and the group sounds well organized. And great that your H is going too.

Im taking your SI name to mean that you really like books and dogs. There was very little puppy at our meeting the other night. The member had just got her the day before. It made us all happy.

Lifeexploded posted 6/7/2018 13:39 PM

This is off topic but I had a dream last night that I had an affair. It was nice to feel wanted and desired for a change, even if it was just in my head. I had forgotten what it felt like.

Dont worry, I wont go have an affair. I just wanted to say something about how feeling those emotions surprised me and really made me see more clearly what my marriage is missing. It sucks.

DogsnBooks posted 6/8/2018 14:58 PM

@marji - Too cute! Wish there was a puppy at my meeting!

@Lifeexploded - I had a similar dream the other night where I kissed a male friend from college. I havenít seen or thought about him in several years so it was out of the blue. I think dreams can be random and meaningless (although I am stuck in limbo, so maybe that was coming through in my dream) but the difference between us and our WSes is that WE didnít act on our dreams/impulses and they did ...

Lionne posted 6/8/2018 15:12 PM

Dreams, haha! Last night my dream was that SAFWH wet the bed! Soaked it, I was in tears cleaning it up.

I guess him pissing all over our life has been in my subconscious.

Lifeexploded posted 6/8/2018 22:12 PM

With sawh's new job, his hours are kinda crazy and he doesn't get enough sleep. Last night/early this morning, I needed to get up to pee, but I didn't want to disturb his sleep. So, I held it for a few hours until he woke up. This was uncomfortable for me, but he will get nearly 70 hours this week so i was trying to be considerate. He came to give me a kiss this morning before leaving the house, and I said hang on, please watch the baby (cosleeps) so I can go to the bathroom. He made a sound that made it obvious this irritated him. I made some smartass comment like "Really!?!?!?!" and I got out of bed. He tried to help me get up but I brushed him off. When I got back, I explained about the holding it, etc, pointed out that him being annoyed about waiting seriously 1 minute was rude. He kind of ignored that and went into trying to hug/kiss me goodbye. I was trying to give him a side hug because I was so pissed and he was all "Aw, c'mon hug me like you want to." Um I don't. Idiot. How are they so dense??

Lifeexploded posted 6/8/2018 22:12 PM

Double post

[This message edited by Lifeexploded at 10:13 PM, June 8th (Friday)]

DogsnBooks posted 6/11/2018 10:46 AM

Since Iím still new to this ...

What does a healthy sex life look like in a marriage with a SA?

How do you balance the need for a healthy sex life with not wanting to enable the addict? AKA, having sex may send the message to the SA that they are forgiven, or it may allow them to slip back into old SA habits and mindsets. Was there a period of abstinence/sobriety between the two of you? Are certain acts off-limits in terms of boundaries?

(I am now entering Month 6 and we still havenít had sex. I canít bring myself to do it. I still hold too much contempt and disgust for him. But I have been thinking about it a lot lately.)

number4 posted 6/12/2018 01:08 AM

DogsnBooks -

First off, it's going to look different for every couple. There is no cookie cutter approach to a sex life after an addiction discovery. I will tell you what happened with us - I have some regrets, but in the end am kind of glad it happened the way it did because I might still be that person a year later not having sex.

We were already going through a period of no sex, on my directives. I was not happy that H was not engaged in the marriage counseling, and I was not wiling to have sex with someone that I didn't feel emotionally intimate with. During early years of our marriage, after our the birth of our second child, we went years with no sex... mostly for the same reasons - relatively no emotional intimacy, and yes, I was exhausted all the time being 80% responsible for raising young children into teens and adulthood. About five years ago, when I came out of my major depressive episode (and to the extent he was able, H was 'there' for me during this time), I decided I was ready to give it a go, so our sex life did resume for almost a year, until I was diagnosed with cancer and had a complete hysterectomy... so there was an interruption. And the longer you stay away, the harder it is to come back to (I've read that lots of places, and it ended up being true on our part). I think his string of affairs began within a year of my cancer diagnosis (and I had a major, life-threatening complication after it). Esther Perel will say that affairs are often the result of people looking at their life, after a major health threat or death of someone close to them and use affairs as a way of feeling more alive in the face of mortality. I suspect there was some of that in our case. Mostly I was so very disappointed in how H diminished my feelings regarding my diagnosis and complication, that we entered another period of no sex, while we tried to work through with our MC why he continued to be so emotionally unavailable to me, especially in a moment of major crisis. This is just background of what it was like before I discovered his affairs.

When I had my first D-day - a year ago yesterday - he only admitted to an emotional affair. It was not for another month that I found out the emotional affair had been physical for five months, and there had been two others between 2015-2017. When I found out about the emotional affair, yet he quickly finally responded to my years-long wishes for him to go into IC, I had such enormous hope, and reconnection with him, that I initiated our sex life. He was willing to do so many things to repair the marriage (again, this was prior to my finding out about the multiple affairs, and one he was just ending) that I truly felt so grateful that I'd finally gotten what I'd asked for all those years. I felt one of the strongest senses of connection to him that I'd felt in almost all our years of marriage.

But there was an additional issue going on. Four months before I found out about the emotional affair, H's best friend died. It was so traumatic for us, and even harder, every time I tried to reach out to H, he rebuffed my attempts at comforting him (not sex, just emotional connection, affection, etc.). I figured I needed to give him some space to process his grief, whereas I had no idea he was already heavily involved with the bitch who was trying everything within her power to steal him from me. It was such a strange period... he was getting his ego stroked so much by someone who wasn't making any emotional demands of any depth (she was incapable of that as he learned over time), yet due to our friend's death, I had used it as an opportunity to make some changes in my own life - I decided I was no longer going to put off doing things that we had talked about doing when he retired (which wasn't going to be for at least 5-7 years). I backed out of some activities that no longer fed my passions and began to invest in other activities that did. I didn't want to waste any more time being bitter and resentful that I'd become stuck in life. Yet, I knew H wasn't ready to relinquish any part of his career any time soon, which is where he got all his self-esteem. One compromise we made, though, was we were going to take more long weekend vacations. He had spent most of his career not taking vacation due him (and he can't cash it in) because it stressed him out so much before he left, he would be stressed out while we were gone, and it would take him forever to catch up when he returned. So we compromised, and began to add a few other activities here and there in an attempt to reconnect, mostly knowing how fragile life was. Little did I know he was deep in his addiction, while at the same time, seeing glimpses of wanting to reconnect with me.

So when he committed to IC and doing whatever it took (truly engaging in the marriage counseling) to repair the marriage, it was incredibly flattering to me; he chose ME! (and I had given him several outs verbally... he didn't take them although she was begging him to) When I found out about the emotional affair, and he ended it with her, there was something that really drew me to him, and resuming a sexual life was something I wanted for me. And I wanted it to be different than it had been before, which was quite routine and not very satisfactory for me... yea, I faked it a lot because I never had the courage to tell him what I wanted or needed to be satisfied. The first two weeks after my first D-Day, he was in and out of the house in hotels as things were dicey as I tried to discern how committed he was. He also spent a week in a guest room when he finally returned home for good. I was already feeling the physical desire, and again, just didn't want to waste any more of my life on holding grudges and resentments. I do think had I known at that time the affair he'd just ended had been physical, I wouldn't have made overtures as soon as I did. And certainly had I known about the other affairs between 2015-2017, I wouldn't have. But about two weeks after my first discovery day, I told him he was welcome back into our bed, and I remember very clearly saying, "Are you interested in make-up sex?" Of course he was flabbergasted. He told me later he assumed it would be months before that would happen - of course he was carrying around the guilt and shame of three affairs in two years that I didn't know about.

So that's when we officially entered the honeymoon period. It was good; I was asking for what I wanted and the sex was better than when we had sex in our early dating years/marriage. But I was also now surgically post-menopausal and knew there were things I needed to know about my body, and nurturing a healthy sex life between two people in their mid to late 50s that looks different than couples in their 20s and 30s. I remember asking my psychiatrist if she had any recommendations for books, resources, etc. for women my age to help me understand what my body was going through so I could make the best of our sex life. Frankly, I'd never been given proper, healthy, age-appropriate sex education as a teenager and all my understandings were what I gleaned from TV/movies/magazine articles, etc. I remember my psychiatrist telling me, "First thing you should do is get a vibrator and some lube. Experiment with it by yourself before you introduce it with your husband." When I asked our MC (in a private session) that, although I was enjoying sex, what did we need to do so we could each climax every time, and if at all possible at the same time. And she just rolled her eyes in frustration - she told me that there is just so much misinformation out there about what a healthy sex life can look like, and that there are lots of times you can make love, thoroughly enjoy it, yet neither one has to climax - but in the end, you feel closer. So it took me some time to accept that sex wasn't about what it looks like in the movies, particularly in couples our age. Just giving me permission that I didn't have to feel pressure to climax every time helped a lot - as it ends up, both H and I admitted to each other when this didn't happen (for either of us), the other one felt insecure. Once we accepted the wide range of sexual experience and pleasure runs the gamut, it took the pressure off and we continued to enjoy all of our sexual experiences, whether one or both, or neither of us climaxed. However, our honeymoon period continued for several months, and yes, sometimes my overtures came out of a sense of, "I want to connect with you in this way today, because we are never promised tomorrow." The most important thing for me was to let go of some of my inhibitions and not feel shame about my body... what really turns each of us on is not necessarily our bodies, but how we see the other respond to us when we desire each other physically... and the difference now is there's also the emotional intimacy that goes with it.

I did do some reading to help reinforce how horrible all these Hollywood myths have damaged our expectations for sex, and leave us feeling so unfulfilled. I became perfectly content learning I was probably not going to climax having intercourse, and it was going to require some lube - in fact, my psychiatrist told me for women my age, it's so important to use lube, because post-menopausal women are at risk for infections from tiny micro-tears you're not aware are happening if you're not probably lubricated during intercourse. So read up on age-appropriate sexual education resources that are possibly vetted by your IC or MC.

Our honeymoon period continued for quite a few months, and came to a complete stop in February when my two brothers died less than two weeks apart. I think that's when I moved into my PTSD phase, and within a month, that's when I discovered H's sex addiction diagnosis had been missed, and it was truly what he had. We probably had about a three-week period with no sex, but I knew the longer we went without it, the more difficult it was going to be to resume, so we talked about it, and agreed it was something we needed to make sure happened on a regular basis.

Now that being said, once he got diagnosed as a sex addict and we started adding in several meetings a week for both of us, plus appointments with our ICs and our MC, it's incredibly difficult to find time either one of us has the energy simultaneously, so I'd say we're back to once or twice a week, but when we do, it's good. Again, I'm 58 years old; I've just been diagnosed with a condition that gives me a 50% chance of developing colorectal cancer in my lifetime; I don't ever want to look back and regret not taking advantage of connecting with him in this physically intimate way if something happens and due to cancer, having a healthy sexual life is no longer an option for us.

Once I found out about his multiple affairs, I really saw no reason to withhold sex because I knew when we did (and again, this is with me finally finding my voice after 30 years of not having one when it came to sex, and actually H finds it very enticing and arousing), I always felt closer to him afterwards; we learned to talk about our sex life at times other than when we were having it, which was important. While you're having sex... to bring up something that one of you might not be comfortable with, is not a good time. You need to have those conversations at other times so you're less likely to get hurt or get defensive. Our discussions at non-sexual times are much more productive and fulfilling.

Again, my situation was a bit different, and I might have waited a long time had I known everything I found out in the ensuing three months. But he's working a really active recovery program (as am I) and making love reinforces and adds a dimension to our relationship we never had. In my moments of deep insecurity, I do tell him I worry that I don't match up to his affair partners (two of which were much younger than me). His response is, with the emotional intimacy we have worked so hard to achieve now, our love-making is multi-dimensional, whereas with his affair partners, it was solely one-dimensional... all about the orgasm and sexual release. He says there is no way he'd ever be able to have with them what we have now.

I am grateful for every love-making experience we have, and continue to refine my voice and speak up... that's been incredibly hard, but honestly, when I do, like I said, it turns him on. I only wish our schedules allowed for more down time together, but I am hopeful as he gets further in his recovery he will need less meetings, as will I, and our time together will increase again.

Sorry for the long post - I hope it will give hope to those here who wonder how they can achieve an even better sex life when both people are working a recovery program. It may happen fairly immediately as it did in my case, or several months down the road. I think what is key, is seeing your partner really working hard because they truly love you. If I didn't see that, we'd still be in a period of sexual anorexia.

One last edit - for the addict, it's NOT about the sex; it's about the inability to experience emotional intimacy (not just with you, they can't do it with anyone). Once you accept that, resuming a healthy sexual life becomes easier to consider. Sexual acting out was not about you; it was about him and his inability to connect with you (or anyone - I can guarantee you 95% of sexually acting out is about filling in a void in their lives that they're not aware of, so no one can meet it).

ashestophoenix posted 6/12/2018 08:17 AM

DogsnBooks, such a challenging and important issue. I read two books that were helpful: Sexual Intelligence by Klein; and something by Kataharis on healthy sex after addiction.

I agree with Number4 that while we all share similar histories, we are unique also. Here's what I have learned.

Do what you want. If you want to initiate sex, do so. If it feels right to you, continue. If not, stop. You can stop anytime you want. But trust and honor yourself. That's what I learned. And note how you feel. Note how your husband responds to you.

Are you able to have an adult, caring discussion with your husband about sexuality? I can't. If you can, that is even better.

Don't worry about anything you doing "harming" his recovery. Sex or no sex...it doesn't matter. His recovery is all up to him. NOTHING you do can cure it, and NOTHING you can do will cause it. That said, my assumption is that your husband, like mine, has a whole lot of work to do to develop healthy sexuality. They've used sex to escape from feelings and numb themselves, and then became addicted. In my husband's case, almost all emotion has been eroticized. That is if he feels anything, he thinks it must be sexual.

Also, in my husband's case, the even bigger problem is his immense fear of emotional connection and sexual connection with emotion is the biggest fear of all. I wanted sexual connection with emotion. What I got was crummy, objectified sex. (Graphic language warning: I was just a masturbation sleeve for my husband while he ran porno and other fantasy films about other women in his head while having sex with me). And, in reality, I was "bad porn." He didn't want sex with me; he wanted sex with himself and fantasy. So....that's a huge mess to untangle.

I did have sex with my husband post D-Day, more than I had in decades. But I stopped when I realized it was just angry sex on my part. And he wasn't present. And while he is so much easier now than he used to be, he's still a little boy and I'm not attracted to little boys.

I think with a LOT of work and a LOT of time, a sincere, mature recovered addict could develop a healthy, relational, connected sexual life. My husband isn't going to get there in his lifetime.

So my sexuality is mine, not his. What I now do with it is up to me. But my situation is different than many here since I don't love my husband any more.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 8:20 AM, June 12th (Tuesday)]

Smjsome1 posted 6/12/2018 19:20 PM

So, been a stressful few weeks. Too much to detail. Basically itís all as well as can be.

But - hereís my question, comment, whatever. Iíve reached this stage of ďmehĒ. I just donít care.
I realize today I donít talk to ďciviliansĒ anymore. They feel like they live in a fantasy world of good people and that vows are not broken
They all look like sitting ducks to me.

And speak a foreign language where baseball scores are important. I donít want to talk small talk. I have only enough patience for authenticate talk, real talk.

My IC is asking me to get my meds looked at! I figure she may be right.

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